Starbucks: Where I Share My “Secrets”

There are a LOT of Starbucks coffee shops and this is my table top view of one of them.  I’m waiting for a friend/business colleague to arrive and didn’t want to waste what might be a perfect photo op.

Some days, a man’s gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do, and yesterday was one of those days when I left the dogs at home and ventured out to network.

Back in the day, I networked a bit differently. I was a Regular Player in my local community. I was that person you might run into at an after hours networking meeting who would listen attentively as you talked about your business.

And, if I liked you and could wrap my arms around your product or service, within a short time after meeting you, I could drive a hell of a lot of business to you.

I was REALLY good at this.

You might say that I built my professional reputation around my uncanny ability to connect like-minded individuals for their mutual gain. In fact, I was so good that some people thought I should charge money for this!

But.  I always felt that this was a part of my karma; of giving with what I liked to call a servant’s heart attitude without worrying too much about “what was in it for me.”

Such a tired worn out phrase that has become.  “What’s in it for me?”

Yet,  it’s a necessary part of How Some Things Get Done.  Even my dogs want to know what’s in it for them.

For years quite a long time now, I have been asking myself a variation of that very question:  “What is in THIS for me?”

“This” was whatever I was doing at the time.  You know what I mean because you ask yourself this question almost every day if you’ve got a job that you hate you’re not passionate about or you’re Stuck In A Relationship that is just … stuck.

Some of us begin to answer this question by Pushing The Envelope of our experience.  We start looking around at what Other People Are Doing and we say to ourselves: “Maybe that’s something that I can do.”

And so we tried different things.  Some of them worked. Some didn’t.  We achieved moderate success. We made money. We lost money.

Those of us who were smart kept looking around and Pushing That Envelope. That’s what an optimist does.

There is a secret to Pushing The Envelope.  Which I have always known and which I can honestly say has been the pivotal “thing” the key to my success.

You KNOW that’s another tired worn out phrase, right?  “Key to my success.”  But. It did catch your attention, didn’t it?

I’ll bet that when you saw it,  your energy level rose. You might have found yourself thinking, “Maybe she’s doing something that I can do!”

Well, then.  The “secret” isn’t something that you do.  It’s something that you are.

Does this mean that you are BORN with “the secret?”  Or can you acquire it? If you knew what it took to be successful, could you get your hands on it?

Well, now.

Here is is.

How successful you will be in whatever you undertake is directly proportional to how stubborn you are.

Think about this carefully. Are you someone who is easily distracted by Bright Shiny Things?  Don’t start to feel defensive about this. If you have, you’re not alone. We’ve ALL been distracted by these things at one time in our lives.

Some of us more than once.

If you think of Bright Shiny Objects as part of your learning curve, and you take away insights about what worked and what didn’t work as you were all caught up in that Bright Shiny Object, you got something valuable out of it. Something that money can’t buy.

Something that will help you out over time.  So that you come out of THAT experience as a better person than you used to be.

And, if you’re stubborn about this, you’ll keep pushing your own envelope.

You’ll push at it until you FINALLY come up with your own personal game plan; the “thing” that works for you.

The only way you find what’s yours is by realizing that part of your game plan has always been inside you.  It’s been slowly accumulating over time.

And, it’s the other half of “the secret.”

Got you again, didn’t I?

Here it is:  the other half of “the secret” is the sum total of all of your experience.

Which is why you want to Be Open. Aware and curious about things. Especially about what you learned from being exposed to those Bright Shiny Objects.

If you take the time to sort through every job that you’ve ever had you will dig out the things that you were truly passionate about.  These are the “things” that you CAN build a world around … if you’re stubborn enough so to want it.

Which is how I got to be sitting in that Starbucks yesterday waiting for my friend.  And, which is also how I ended up in a different Starbucks later in the day, waiting for another friend.

So that I could give her some of these:

Which I’d handed off earlier in the day to my other friend. Which I only had printed up because one of my OTHER friends, told me that she would pass my cards out to all of HER friends because she loved working with me.

Not to leave out Lynn Hidyone of my other friends, who was over-the-moon pleased with the work I did for her.

Because I have finally figured out how to pull together all of the things that I’m good at so that I can build a world around them.  And, just like I told you, the things that I’m good at were there all the time.

I just had to be really stubborn about pushing that envelope and about finally digging deep into my own professional background.

If I can do this, you can do it too.  If you don’t think so, I may be able to help with that.




  1. says

    Kathy – even without your mention of me I have to say that you are worth EVERY penny as an editor & collaborator! Making me think about my target market every step of the way. Thanks for the mention. Cheers, Lynn

    • htkhp says

      It’s always my happy pleasure to mention you … Business is really fun when you get to work with your friends! I should have figured THAT part out a long time ago.

  2. says

    Kathy – as one of your Starbucks friends, I have to say I LOVE this blog post. A special thank you for helping me “dig deep” and figure out what it is I really want to do. Keep on writing.

  3. Susan Sinatra says

    Are you talking to me? Sure sounds like it…great post. I sense that I should find a couple of Starbucks and become a regular….and I know you were planning to send me a few of your cards…b/c SoCal isn’t really that far away.

    • htkhp says

      Nice to know I struck a chord with you, Susan. And, absolutely I will send you some of my business cards – the nice thing about technology is that I can edit anywhere!

    • htkhp says

      It’s been a pulling together of a lot of my past experience, Barbara. Writing and teaching were always two of the underlying foundation pieces I had to work with. It wasn’t until I started blogging and began to explore where this was taking me, that
      the consulting piece as a content editor began to come together. That formula of looking for your passions by examining all of your prior professional experience really does work.


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